When progressive rock enthusiasts hear Bill Bruford's name, they immediately think of his work with Yes and King Crimson. But it's important to remember that Bruford is also a talented jazz instrumentalist, and the veteran drummer has demonstrated that he is comfortable appearing in a variety of jazz settings. On Skin and Wire: Piano Circus featuring Bill Bruford Play the Music of Colin Riley, Bruford's group Piano Circus offers a cerebral, abstract mixture of post-bop and avant-garde jazz. This 2009 release isn't radically avant-garde; Skin and Wire isn't the type of scorching, atonal free jazz that goes out of its way to be as abrasive as possible…
Reissue of this live archive release from the Folk music legend. In 2001, The Woody Guthrie Archives received two spools of wire recordings from a live Woody Guthrie performance held in Newark, New Jersey in 1949. With the help of many talented recording engineers, the Woody Guthrie Foundation transferred this rare live performance from a delicate wire recording to digital audio, and, with state-of-the-art technology, restored it to near-perfection.
Chicago guitarist Jimmy Dawkins would have preferred to leave his longtime nickname "Fast Fingers" behind. It was always something of a stylistic misnomer anyway; Dawkins' West Side-styled guitar slashed and surged, but seldom burned with incendiary speed. Dawkins' blues were generally of the brooding, introspective variety – he didn't engage in flashy pyrotechnics or outrageous showmanship. It took a long time for Dawkins to progress from West Side fixture to nationally known recording artist. He rode a Greyhound bus out of Mississippi in 1955, dressing warmly to ward off the Windy City's infamous chill factor. Only trouble was, he arrived on a sweltering July day! Harpist Billy Boy Arnold offered the newcomer encouragement, and he eventually carved out a niche on the competitive West Side scene (his peers included Magic Sam and Luther Allison).
It's never easy to be the sibling of a star when you're active in the same profession – ask Joey Travolta or Frank Stallone, and try to find out what happened to John Murray, one of Bill's brothers. Similarly, David Knopfler, younger brother of Dire Straits frontman Mark Knopfler, has often remained in his brother's shadow, unfairly remaining a footnote in the famous British band's history and not always gaining much recognition for his solo work – provided people know he's remained active in music at all. The comparison to the abovementioned actors is misleading, however, since they all possess little of their siblings' talent, whereas David Knopfler has proven himself to be a talented musician with considerable songwriting skills of his own and several strong solo releases under his belt.